Philadelphia mayoral candidate Terry Gillen has spent decades working in city government and in nonprofits, most recently as the city’s first director of federal affairs. Before that, she led the Redevelopment Authority, the city’s planning and developing arm.
“I think I’m qualified to be mayor because I’ve had senior positions in city government for much of my career,” said Gillen during an interview with WHYY senior reporter Dave Davies.
Much of her experience is in the area of job creation. Gillen served as senior vice president of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, which promotes economic development in the city.
“One of the things that we can do, and that I will do as mayor, is to look at areas where the city has a niche and figure out how we can build on that niche,” said Gillen. “We did it at the Navy Yard when we realized there were these naval engineers down there, and that we could build on the niche of the naval engineering down there.”
On schools, Gillen said problem No. 1 is funding, and that some Republican state lawmakers can be persuaded to vote for more state funds for schools.
“If you’re in a small town where you’re a municipal leader, and you have to raise property taxes because state funding, which should be in the 50 percent range is now down in the 30s, you actually are a Republican legislator who can be persuaded that the state needs to do more for education,” she said.
Listen to the full interview above for Gillen’s thoughts on the future of transportation and sustainability in the city.